Changes in self-reported health, alcohol consumption, and sleep quality during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

When the novel coronavirus entered the US in early 2020, the initial response to protect the health-care system capacity, slow transmission, and associated morbidity and mortality has been stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and proper hygiene. However, extended social isolation can result in unintended consequences. To examine possible unintended consequences, we fielded a longitudinal survey with the same sample of respondents–the first at the end of March 2020 and the second one month later at the end of April 2020. We calculated changes over time in physical health status, mental health status, alcohol consumption, and sleep quality. Random-effects logit models were estimated to identify statistically significant predictors for each outcome. Results show that individuals reported significantly worse outcomes in all four areas as the pandemic progressed, especially for alcohol consumption and sleep quality. In general, age, non-White race, religiosity, and resiliency are protective factors while being female and having greater fear of the coronavirus are risk factors. If these trends continue as we enter future stages of the pandemic, then the full societal costs could become extreme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalApplied Economics Letters
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • alcohol consumption
  • mental health
  • physical health
  • random-effects logit
  • sleep quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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